So you’re ready to start carb cycling, but you’re unsure of what to eat and how to structure your days. I’m going to show you the most basic and easiest form of carb cycling that you can start doing TODAY.
By following this plan, I made the above transformation in 15 days. I lost 16lbs and dropped from 13.5% bodyfat, to 11% bodyfat.
The protocol is to do 2 days of low carbs (50g or less), followed by 1 day of high carbs (200g – 400g), and repeat these 3 days until you have achieved the results you’re looking for.
This plan is for someone who is working out regularly, lifting weights 3-4x per week, and doing cardio.
Your macros will be the following:
Low days: 65% protein, 50g carbs (at breakfast only), 22% fat
High days: 37% protein, 200g – 400g carbs (throughout the day), 12% fat
- Your protein is based on a percentage of total calories.
- Carbs are based on a number of grams between 200g and 400g. The higher your normal calorie intake, the higher your carb intake. Example: if you normally eat 3000 calories per day, you’ll be closer to the 400g mark. If you normally eat 1300 calories per day, you’ll be at the 200g mark.
- Fats are based on a percentage of total calories.
To calculate your protein on low days, you first need to know that there are 4 calories per gram of protein. Next you will reduce your normal calorie intake to 70% (if you normally eat 1800 calories, you will reduce to 70% which is 1260 calories). From there, if you need 65% of your total calories to come from protein (low days), and you’re basing it on 1260 calories, your equation will look like this:
1260x.65=819 calories from protein. Since there are 4 calories per gram, you’ll do 819÷4=204g. Therefore, you’ll be taking in 204g of protein on low carb days.
Your carbs will be at 50g or less, and should be consumed at breakfast on low carb days.
Fats are also based on a percentage of calories, and there are 9 calories per gram of fat. Therefore, if you need 22% of calories to come from fat, your calculation will look like this:
1260x.22=277 calories from fat. 277÷9=30g. This means you’ll need 30g of fats on low carb days.
High days are a bit more simple than low days, because you will be consuming the same amount of protein, and the same amount of fats as your low days, but your carbs will be significantly higher.
The carbs you eat on high days will be spread throughout the day, and should be made up primarily from the following foods: gluten free oats, whole wheat bread, white rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, pineapple juice, and fruits. These foods should make up 80% of your carb intake on high days. The other 20% can come from foods you enjoy like bagels, pasta, perogies, popcorn..etc.
HIGH DAYS ARE NOT CHEAT DAYS.
High days are designed to replenish glucose stores within your muscles, to give you energy in your workouts, and more simply – to give you something to look forward to every 3rd day where you can enjoy a few of the foods that you typically eat so that you can continue this meal plan for weeks on end, which will ultimately lead to a significant body transformation.
If you cut carbs completely (keto, or a crash diet), you are more likely to binge, cheat, and fall off the wagon after just a few weeks. Remember: we need consistency and time to make significant changes in our physique.
Here is the exact meal plan that I’m following for my carb cycling program. Remember that your portion sizes will differ. *Foods in red are consumed on high carb days only.
Meal 1: 3 whole eggs, 1/2 cup egg whites, 2 slices whole wheat toast, 2 tbsp strawberry jam, 2 cups pineapple juice (4 slices toast, 1/2 cup gluten free oats)
Meal 2: 8oz steak, 5 cups spinach (2 cups white rice)
Meal 3: 8oz chicken, beef, turkey, or whitefish, 5 cups spinach or salad or mixed veg (450g white potato or sweet potato)
Post Workout Meal: 50g protein shake in water (1/2 cup gluten free oats)
Before Bed: 50g protein shake in water (1/2 cup gluten free oats, or cereal, or granola)
Snacks: sliced turkey & mustard (bagels, popcorn, fruits, rice cakes, cereal, muffins, bananas)
This is the absolute simplest way to do carb cycling, and with a bit of planning to get your meal plan set and your low/high days calculated – you will make significant changes to your body.
I’m going to assume that you’re also working out regularly and doing cardio, so with that being said, you will always workout the morning after a high day. On other days, you will do 20-30 minutes of cardio first thing upon waking (before eating), and 20-30 minutes of cardio at the end of a 40 minute weights workout.
To end off, please remember that before starting any diet or nutrition plan, always talk to your doctor. I’m writing this for you because this is the plan myself and my clients have had great success on, and I believe you can do it too.
If you need further guidance or help with your nutrition or training, check out our online training services and let one of our trainers guide you through your fitness plan this year.
Good luck and tag me or send me your progress photos and videos @danpetkovsekpl I love to see your results!